Siri, the virtual assistant on Apple products, now has ability to determine if yo have symptoms associated with coronavirus. Simply ask on any of your apple products, “Siri, what are the symptoms of the coronavirus?”. Siri will then prompt you through a list of questions, provided by the U.S. Public Health Service and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Siri will ask if you have particular symptoms, including fever, trouble breathing, or dry cough. It will also ask if you have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus. All questions are “yes”, “no”, “not sure” answers to ensure more clear answers. Siri will then asses what risk you are at. It even offers tips on hand washing and social distancing. Apple has also been helpful during this pandemic as it has highlighted important videos and apps in the App Store regarding the virus.
I think that it is important that Apple has programed Siri to do this as people are not sure if they have it, and can only get tested if they show severe symptoms. This allows more people to find out their risk and level of coronavirus, and take appropriate steps. I think during a time like this, companies like Apple, are making it easier for more people to get informed.
On March 21, Google launched a website dedicated solely to the coronavirus. This website sole purpose is to provide information on the virus. This site includes several resources and tips with information about coronavirus. This site also includes more immediate information from official resources, like the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the World Health Organization. The website includes resources for Americans and features data on areas that could be affected by the pandemic. Also, Verily, a subsidiary of Googles parent company, Alphabet, recently also started a website for users who are concerned about their risk to the virus. That site is only available in some parts of California.
Sites like these are really helpful in a time like this, where fear and panic are among a lot of citizens. Theres is also a lot of misinformation out there, and Google’s involvement will make it easier to spread correct information to a large mass of people. Some people are reporting wrong information, and causing more hysteric and panic. This website will help calm down the masses. I think Google making a separate website for information on this will also make it easier for a lot of people, especially those who aren’t good with technology, like the elderly.
Facebook is known for always having ads and posts that are directed at you. For instance, say you’re in the library studying for a big exam, and you think to yourself that you need a coffee to keep you awake. You check Facebook for a little study break, and you’ll have an ad for Starbucks, and you wonder how it knew you were thinking about coffee. It’s because Facebook uses your location to direct ads to you. It uses your real-world conversations and locations to produce ads that show up in the News Feed. If you think this is an invasion of privacy, you are not alone. Over 51% of people in a Pew Research center study agree that they were uncomfortable with being followed and characterized by Facebook. One way to limit the real-time ads from Facebook is to turn off your location services in your Settings and Privacy. Now this won’t cut out all the real-time ads from Facebook, but it definitely will limit some. Facebook also uses what you like and follow to customize ads for you, so you’ll still get some ads based off that.
I think Facebook and other apps that use location services to customize things for you are invading your privacy. I don’t want to scroll through Facebook and see ads for Penn State apparel because they can tell by my location that I am on Penn State’s campus. It’s something I have plenty of and I do not need to be convinced to buy more of. Facebook should really allow some privacy of their customers, as they are already put so much of their life on the social media platform, through pictures and status updates. They do not need my location to gather more information on me.
Source: USA Today News
According to USA Today, hackers still prefer to hack your email over any other social profiles. People get more emails than texts or social media messages, and it’s easier to find someone’s email rather than their phone numbers. Also, its less expensive for hackers to send a fake email. Some services offer to send 50,000 emails for $65. The easiest trick for hackers to use is to send a fake business email. It’s super effective and people trust the email as it looks authentic. For example, in 2016, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was hacked. Her campaign manager believed that an email sent to him was genuine, and he clicked on a link. Because of that, all the campaign emails were leaked onto the Internet. Some companies are putting more emphasize on online security for their mobile devices, instead of laptops and desktops, as more employees are doing more work on their cell phones. Recently, the CEO of Amazon was hacked through his smartphone via a direct messaging app. Other companies are more concerned with hackers that ask for ransomware. They’re updating and improving their machines to stay ahead of potential hackers.
I find it extremely interesting that hackers still prefer to hack our emails instead of other social media platforms. My generation experiences a lot of social media attacks. I feel like I am constantly getting random messages on Facebook or Instagram telling me to click some random link. Then later, seeing the person who sent me the message, made a post about explaining to not click the link as they were hacked. I’m curious to see as time goes on, if Facebook or Instagram will become the most hacked social media. My generation uses those platforms more often, so as we get older, I wonder if hackers will change their ways.
Uber has recently added a new feature in their app that allows you to report details of your trip in real time. The “On-Trip Reporting” allows passengers to discreetly alert the company about different type of incidents. This is helpful if the rider is put in an uncomfortable situation and wants to tell Uber instantly. If someone uses the “On-Trip Reporting” feature, an Uber representative will reach out to the rider and driver after the ride has ended, and the driver will receive educational materials on to better present themselves to riders. If the driver is continually reported, then Uber will take appropriate and additional actions. Before, customers would have to wait till after their ride to give Uber a response about their trip. A lot of people don’t use this feature as they are constantly in a rush and don’t necessarily have the time to give back feedback. This new feature is more convenient for passengers as they can report in real time.
I think this is a great feature for Uber because I’ve been in a couple different Uber rides where I have felt uncomfortable and didn’t know what to do. This is especially a great feature for when you are the only passenger. In my experience, a lot of my weird or awkward Uber rides have been when I’m the only passenger. When you’re with other people, it’s a little bit safer, as anything can go wrong when engaging with a stranger. Last year, Uber had nine murder cases, out the millions of trips taken every day. As slim of a chance, it is to get hurt during one of these rides, it’s still nerve raking to know that it could potentially happen to me. It’s nice knowing that this feature exists, if anything bad were to happen.